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Functional Herbal Therapy

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Course Content

Lessons Status

Module 1: Functional Herbal Therapy Primer Module one introduces and defines Functional Herbal Therapy (FHT), providing an overview of the history and tradition of using plants as a medicine. It begins to build a practical clinical framework by discussing the importance of phytochemistry, introducing pharmacology and examining the physiological actions of herbs.


Module 2: Practical Clinical Guides This module introduces the foundational principles of Functional Herbal Therapy, how to use herbs in a clinical setting, Case taking and prescribing concepts, dosage considerations, and an introduction to quality.


Module 3: Cellular & Metabolic Regulators Science now casts phytochemicals into the critical role of cellular and metabolic regulators, responsible for maintenance of homeostasis, a role on par with vitamins and a compelling rationale for the daily use of herbs. This foundational module explores this new finding and its importance to Functional Herbal Therapy. It introduces Nrf2 as the master regulator of cell protection and discusses the key herbs and herbal strategies for the regulation and maintenance of cellular and metabolic health.


Module 4: Digestion – Upper The modern diet and lifestyle significantly impacts normal digestive function. This module introduces key concepts and herbs for regulating upper digestive tract function. Areas of focus include: gastroesophageal reflux, functional dyspepsia, gastroparesis, gastric, and peptic ulcers


Module 5: Microcirculation Every tissue in the body receives its nutrition via the microcirculation making it a vitally important, yet underappreciated, system of the human body. The list of human pathologies associated with microvascular disease is extensive. This module reviews the basic structure and function of the microcirculation and discusses the key herbs and therapeutic strategies used to manage and maintain optimal function.


Module 6: Blood Sugar & Insulin Resistance The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing at an alarming rate. This module addresses some of the prominent risk factors in the development of T2D, explores how insulin resistance (IR) progresses to T2D, and discusses the importance of gastrointestinal hormones (incretins) in the regulation of blood sugar. We will outline and discuss the significant complications of T2D. You will learn how to use the key herbs and develop strategies for managing T2D and IR.


Module 7: HPA Axis and Stress Adaptation Stress in all its forms, is associated with many health issues and diseases. Management of, and adaptation to, stress is controlled by elaborate nervous and endocrine system mechanisms, as well as a range of cellular regulators/mediators. This area of human physiology has seen great advances in the last decade which validate and inform our herbal practice . This module introduces the key concepts including adrenal health and discusses the key herbs and develops treatment strategies.


Module 8: Immune System The immune system is vast in its scope and importance. This module focuses on herbal therapy for maintaining a healthy immune system and the management & treatment of a range of common acute and chronic immune system related conditions. The important physiological interactions between the phytochemicals and the immune system will be explained.


Module 9: Musculoskeletal 1 Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of morbidity and chronic pain in people 65+ years old. This module reviews the clinically significant factors that impact normal joint function and cause osteoarthritis, discusses the key herbs and develops treatment strategies.


Module 10: Musculoskeletal 2 This module discusses the key herbs and develops herbal treatment strategies for a range of common issues including, wound healing, scar remodelling, sports injuries, sprains and strains and osteoporosis.


Module 11: Nervous System 1 The complex nature of depression and anxiety is mirrored by the challenges and risks of conventional treatments. This module introduces the most current understanding of the causes of depression and anxiety which lays a framework for the development of herbal treatment strategies that are supported by good quality clinical trial data.


Module 12: Nervous System 2 Continuing with the nervous system this module focuses on sleep and chronic pain. Herbal treatment strategies are developed for sleep onset, sleep maintenance and non-restorative sleep. New perspectives in chronic pain management will be discussed and herbal treatment strategies will be developed for the most forms of common chronic pain.


Functional Herbal Therapy Midterm


Module 13: Digestion 2 This module explores the hepatobiliary systems involvement gastrointestinal function and liver detoxification. It introduces the key herbs and develops herbal treatment strategies for a range of common conditions.


Module 14: Gastrointestinal Tract The microorganisms living within the gastrointestinal tract are considered so important to human health, researchers suggest they could be classified as a human organ and named the microbiota. The combined negative effects of the modern diet, antibiotic use and chronic stress on these microorganisms is a central feature in the development of many common conditions. This module introduces the key concepts of dysbiosis and develops herbal treatment strategies to restore a healthy microbiota and resolve leaky gut. Herbal treatment of parasite infestations will also be discussed.


Module 15: Autoimmune Disease Autoimmune disease is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, areas of herbal therapy. This module introduces the basics of immunology and develops a generalized treatment approach applicable to most autoimmune diseases.


Module 16: Thyroid Function Proper thyroid function is essential for healthy metabolism. This module examines the key issues that challenge optimal thyroid function. We’ll introduce the key herbs and develops herbal treatment strategies for both hypo and hyper thyroid conditions.


Module 17: Metabolic Syndrome – Obesity Metabolic syndrome, weight management, and obesity are complex, multifactorial challenges reflective of system wide cellular dysregulation. Diet, activity, stress, microbiota, toxins are all involved. This module reviews the recent science behind obesity, introduces the key herbs, and develops practical treatment strategies.


Module 18: Endocrine Female Female endocrine and reproductive health is a vast topic. This module is limited to a brief discussion of the foundational principles of herbal therapy for female endocrine and reproductive health. We’ll introduce the key herbs and develop herbal treatment strategies for a range of common challenges including, PMS, PCOS, and Menopause


Module 19: Endocrine Male Men’s Health: it’s more than just hormones and purple pills. This module introduces the key herbs and outlines herbal treatment strategies for a range of common male endocrine challenges, including fertility, prostate function, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and the aging male syndrome we call “andropause.”


Module 20: Cardiovascular Breaking the cardiovascular system down into the heart, arteries, veins, blood quality, and blood pressure, this module serves as an introduction to this vitally important system. Recent research, which informs and updates our clinical practice, will be discussed. Key herbs are introduced and treatment strategies presented for common cardiovascular complaints and challenges.


Module 21: Brain Health and Cognitive Function This module discusses the latest research and draws together threads from other modules to develop a coherent approach for supporting patients with a range of challenges including, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Key herbs will be introduced and treatment strategies discussed.


Module 22: Respiratory Upper & Lower This module discusses the treatment and management of common upper and lower respiratory tract conditions including, colds and flus, acute and chronic sinusitis, sinus allergy, and acute and chronic bronchitis.


Module 23: Skin Diet and gastrointestinal health including the microbiota and immune and endocrine system function are among the underlying factors contributing to a range of common skin issues including dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis. This module discusses and develops treatment strategies and introduces key herbs.


Module 24: Kidney – Urinary Tract This final module explores kidney and urinary tract function. It introduces the key herbs and develops treatment strategies for a range of common issues including, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and acute and chronic kidney challenges.


Functional Herbal Therapy Final Exam